Amazon is tapping an online B2B market that is estimated at more than $120 billion by the UK´s Office for National Statistics. The new free service can be accessed via the website Amazon.co.uk/business and features over 100 million products. The diverse offers reach from office and janitorial supplies to lab equipment, electric motors and metal-cutting drills.
The specialized platform is designed to save corporate buyers time and offers additional features. These for example include the ability to approve purchases and set spending limits. Furthermore, it enables VAT-exclusive pricing, showing the price of goods without the inclusion of value-added tax, and automatic VAT invoicing, displaying records of value-added tax that businesses use when filing tax returns thus saving the effort on manual invoice generation. In addition, Amazon Business makes exclusive pricing to corporate customers possible, including quantity based discounts.
The first Amazon Business portal was launched in the United States two years ago, in April 2015, replacing former AmazonSupply. According to Amazon, the B2B portal surpassed $1 billion in total sales during its first year of operation and has 400,000 business customers. This was followed by the launch of a second trade centre in Germany last December. Over 50,000 corporate customers and 10,000 sellers now use the first European business portal, Amazon says. In total, corporate customers account for approximately two-fifths of online spending.